tv The Chris Matthews Show NBC December 26, 2011 12:00am-12:30am PST
>> this is "the chris matthews show." >> ask not what your country can do for you. >> tear down this wall. >> the time for change has come. chris: for all of the world to see as we head on to 2012, what were the show-stopping moments of 2011? what was barack obama's best move? and what was the republican turning point that changed everything? ok. now give it to us cold. best case of chutzpa? and of all of the nasty nominees for cad this year, who was the downright worst? finally, what just happened? who pulled off the greatest comeback of this year? who gets that prize?
hi, i'm chris matthews. welcome to this year's award show. always i highlight of the season. with us today, "time" magazine's richard stengel, bbc's katty kay. "the washington post's" kathleen parker and nbc's chuck todd. we start this year's awards as before with president obama. what was his best move, his singular achievement of 2011, was it getting osama bin laden or toppling muammar qaddafi? was it keeping the promise to end the american war in iraq? or was it on a more human level his very moving speech after gabby giffords was shot? chuck, event of the year for the president? >> easy to say bin laden but i'm going libya and qaddafi because it was a risk, the policy was a risk and it is a policy that is going to doe fine what future presidents do, how they handle situations like this. chris: lead from behind? >> it was in a weird way as big of a gamble and maybe even a
bigger gamble long term on the impact it could have had on short-term american policy. chris: and hillary clinton and susan rice -- >> the women of the foreign power team but this was also about the when united states signs a pact to be an ally with a country like france and a country like great britain, and we always ask them to be with america when we go there, this was a case where we had to stand when they needed it and we did what we provided. chris: very interesting. you had an expression there a moment ago. >> i know i did. chris: katty kay, i don't know whether it's dismay or what it was. what's your reaction? >> it was surprise. because the libya conflict lasted so much longer than people expected. because it tied up american forces and money at a time when the country was just not willing to enter another conflict and i think a lot of people are asking why are we doing that? chris: but it worked in the end. so you counter him -- >> i would go with -- i think this is my hardest ones of all of the ones we're going to look at and it's a toss-up for me
between osama bin laden and iraq. i go with bin laden because it was a kind of nothing but good news moment for the president. when he was able to say this, and -- competent execution and also inoculates him against any criticism, we have seen him use it, that he is in any way soft on terrorism. >> first of all, i love chuck gave credit to the women on the team. >> i prompted him to do that. >> it is true. they did bring him into this. chris: famously so. >> i'm not turning over the floor here by the way. i do have something to say. i agree with both of you. it is a hard question because so many of these are important. but the three foreign policy ones are really part of this obama way of doing things. and i think -- i don't know, osama bin laden is an easy choice but it's -- chris: the chicago way? >> it's kind of the cool and lacking and chest beating way, you know what i'm saying? chris: your candidate would be -- >> wouldn't invade another muslim country when we got with
libya. and on osama bin laden, the way he shoots the ball across the court. i know everybody will say she's an obama lover, whatever, he did it well. it was a net shot. he got it done. nobody knew it was happening. chris: number one achievement for the president. >> it's easy to say osama bin laden. one of the things about it, we say risk, he did take a risk but it was a calculated risk, singular decision, smart decision. to me it is the withdrawal from iraq. that was a colossal campaign promise. getting out there is a colossal logistical endeavor not since world war ii have we had to bring so many people home in such a short amount of time. i think that's the thing that will resonate this year during the campaign season. chris: so hard to end a war because there will always be the doubters who say if you just stayed three more years, if you just stayed five more years. that's why we have to do it sometimes. >> you picked a good category. chris: interesting, end of the war. i'm going with those two. i don't think i have more than
two. next category, moderator -- >> moderating the rules. chris: the republicans, what was the biggest turning point this year in their race for the nomination for president, was it rick perry's devastating oops -- >> i would do away with the education, the -- commerce and, let's see, i can't -- the third one i can't. sorry. oops. chris: new jersey's governor's cyst christie decision to duck the race altogether, heren cane's brain fees over the libya policy which began the downfall and also opened the door for newt gingrich. >> i do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. no, that's a different one. chris: there's a man literally prepared but not mentally alert. >> reviewing notes. we've all been there. chris: or mild mannered mitt
romney going on the attack now that he faces a tough race with newt gingrich. kathleen? >> i would say -- i feel so sorry for rick perry every time i see that. in fact he could have easily segued and made fun of himself. instead he really did just go completely blank. certainly the turning point for him. and then it led to the larger perception that a lot of people have that the republicans are not well versed in the issues that they have to address. >> i'm going to go with mitt going negative on newt. in the longer run if newt stays in this race, that will be the most defining issue of the campaign. i don't -- perry was at some point going to burnout, herman cain was going to burn out and newt and romney are the longer running pair. chris: the fact he has to go on the offensive and is doing so quickly. >> will drag out the campaign, potentially damage both of them and play for the white house's advantage. >> you know, the old joke what's the secret of comedy? timing. the secret of politics is timing. newt's timing is impeccable. that has turned the race.
the fact mitt has to now attack him, all of the planning has gone asunder. chris: timing, i love that. nixon always believed in that, if you had to crest at a certain time. he's cresting in december when all of the elections are in the new year. >> i guess i will go with perry simply because he was the only guy in the race that had the organization that seemed to have the natural ability to tap into the anti-washington sentiment that eventually herman cain -- without perry bombing, we wouldn't have herman cain. we wouldn't have newt gingrich. we wouldn't have maybe tim pawlenty getting out of the race. without perry getting in and sort of blowing up, we wouldn't have the race we have today. the christie thing, i guess you never thought you could make the same mark. chris: could have been another perry. >> which i think is one of the reasons he didn't do it. chris: next up, digital rising. this was an crindable year for the impact of the digital age. what was the biggest effect,
protesters in cairo, syria, russia? nbc's richard engel was there when hundreds amassed there. >> when they thought cell phone messages weren't safe, they switched to twitter. when twitter messages they thought they were being compromised, they would switch to facebook. chris: great reporting there. or apple becoming the world's biggest company actually and steve jobs phenomenon that came with it. or more and more readers of "the new york times" and "the wall street journal," among other newspapers, paying to get them online rather than driveways? or finally was it e-mail driving the postal services cutback sooner, cutting delivery back to five days? rick, your person of the year and there's your cover right there. your protester gives us a clue where you're headed. >> last month i went to egypt and tunisia and this tiny little town outside where mohammed ba
diseasey set himself on fire. this is in the back of the back of beyond. you don't think anything can start there much less a world historical movement that toppled dictators across the middle east. you know how it happened? somebody took a cell phone video of the protest after he emulated himself and that was september to al gentleman desiria and -- al jazeeraia and people across the middle east saw it. chris: social networking? >> social networking as an aid to something simmering and boiling over. but without it, probably wouldn't have happened. >> mark zummerburg and stone have to be some of the biggest heroes. they enabled communications. got people out of the streets. seen syria, where there's no foreign reporting. we're not getting glossy video pics we get when we send our cameramen in but still day after day cell phone pictures people are managing to get out of the country, we would have no idea what was happening. chris: such a convergence of
steve jobs passing away and big book by isaacson, and our friend, this is the year it popped. of course, last year was the aaron sorkin movie. next award i love this every year, chutzpa award prize. nominees are -- how can we miss them, donald trump demanding the president's birth certificate. >> why doesn't he show his birth certificate? it's outrageous chris: it is outrageous. or newt gingrich's incredible explanation for his affairs? >> the times in my life partially driven by -- by how passionately i felt about this country, that i worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. chris: there was, of course, self-destruction of charlie sheen. here's a sampling. >> i picked a fight with a warlock. tiger blood, wow, winning. chris: maybe king of chutzpa. what a competition this has been. was it a man? maybe a machine?
a computer called watson went on "jeopardy!" tv show and beat the two best human contestants of all time. >> bram stoker is what we're looking for and we find who is stoker? i for one welcome our new computer. chris: you know what that was, the computer had done so well in raising money up until the point of the final double jeopardy, the final thing when you double your money, that poor guy, genius as he was, didn't have enough money at that point to beat the machine. the machine had already beaten him. >> and it's only the beginning. watson will go even further. i'm tempted to say donald trump, whatever he did this year was the chutzpa prize of the year. chris: doesn't he get it january 1 every year? >> just by being there and almost everything he has said and done, getting into the race, demanding birth certificate, wanting the debate. it wasn't just that moment. >> trump continues to trump himself, doesn't he? >> how dare he ask for a birth certificate when people are still trying to figure out if
he's from this planet? chris: i'm sorry new york people here, like you are in new york now and up in new york, i think it's new york media drives this guy. no other city would get away with it. >> to me it's not about chutzpa, which we all mispronounce, by the way, it's not chris: do it right. >> i can't do it. it's the media focusing on this -- focusing on things done at trump focuses on as though that's relevant, birth certificate, whatever. by the way, the constitution should be changed anyway. you shouldn't have to be born in america to run for president. it shouldn't matter anyway. the fact we focus on it is ridiculous. >> forget give him any more awards, he will take this and say, see, i'm relevant. charlie sheen's meltdown is one for the ages. come on. winning has become the best hash tag in the short history -- chris: you want chutzpa, by the way? >> my mom says it's the good half. chris: when we come back -- we
chris: welcome back to our 2011 awards show. next up we're calling it the stage craft award. who had the best staging of the year? was it william and kate with this fabulous end to their wedding? >> look who's driving, balloons trailing. look who's driving. than fantastic. >> from the sublime to the ridiculous, our next nominee, new mexico's gary johnson. one of the original republicans running for president this year. he got his turn in an early debate and here's the stage craft he came prepared with.
>> my next door neighbor's two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration. chris: also ridiculous, this surprise entry into a hillary clinton photo-op in hawaii. catch the guy with naked ambition. and the last stage craft nomination, a guy who was fully rehearsed for his big moment as rupert and james murdoch testified on the phone tapping scandal. >> both murdoches tried to stay above the fray that is until the fray came to them in the form of a guy with a cream pie aimed right at the face of the patriarch. chris: everybody weas got to get in the act. everybody plans this stuff. it's all p.r. >> i don't know i saw it at the time but secretary clinton's reaction -- >> that's exactly what you want. she didn't plan that at all.
>> that's the hillary clinton that should have run for office of the presidency. chris: she did not avert her glance, by the way. she took a good look at this guy. >> that was my thought i wanted to give the award to hillary for handling it so well. she has a great belly laugh. that was totally authentic. chris: she didn't go like this, oops. every year we hope we can skip the prize for the year's biggest cad. there's an old-world name, cad. but not this year. nominees for biggest cad of 2011 are, how can we resist, dominique strauss-kahn, married man, i.m.f. head who had sex with a hotel maid. arnold schwarzenegger, revealing he fathered a child with his and maria's housekeeper. anthony weiner, let us count the ways. member of congress, married man sending out those embarrassing cell phone pictures. herman cain with all of the allegations about harassment and topped off by the 13-year
affair, got to be caddie with this one. who's -- >> i'm glad to note, kathleen, they're all men up there, by the way. >> no women made it -- been in power when we had -- >> no women cads up there. it has to be dominique strauss-kahn for me. just the alleges of what happened in the hotel room and everything we learned subsequently. his incredible fall from the pin cal pinnacle of power, futer president of france, blew it all. chris: and it showed how he lived. >> i suppose the consequences of his actions had much broader reach but i can't -- anthony weiner to me is the biggest embarrassment to himself, to any adult human being and to -- to talk about. >> my issue is with arnold and it's because it's the housekeeper and i'm thinking and go to something my wife said to me, when that housekeeper needed a day off, did she go to arnold
or maria? the idea that -- no, meaning -- chris: you thought this true. >> meaning the idea that the housekeeper did this also sort of this betrayal, double betrayal. betrayal of the husband. betrayal of somebody who helped you raise your kid. double betrayal. the whole thing is arnold lived in the same house with both. that to me -- that's why i think maria just walked so fast. >> in this day and age he can keep is secret for so long, i'm amazed that there are still multiyear long secrets of that nature. >> arnold, to quote a countryman of yours, samuel johnson there's no point of discerning between a mouse and flea. that's the problem with all of you. they're all horrible. but i think arnold takes the cake. i've got to say. chris, what do you think? chris: i think -- i'm impressed, i'm catholic so i'm impressed they had the kid and raised the kid but right in front of everybody. why didn't she get another job? why doesn't she leave? >> that's what i mean.
double betrayal -- chris: i don't get why she stayed there with the kid, raising the kid in the household? >> i understand why maria just ran -- when we come chris: you are all right. when w ♪ making your way in the world today ♪ ♪ takes everything you've got ♪ wouldn't you like to get away? ♪ ♪ ♪ sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name ♪ ♪
all at mind-melting speeds. powered by verizon, this droid is too powerful to fall into the wrong hands. chris: welcome back to our annual awards show. it's quite a show. there have been incredible comebacks this year. our nominees are congresswoman gabby giffords. just seven months after that assassination attempt, there she was voting on the congressional floor.
not nearly as notable as newt gingrich, talking about comebacks. he was wandering around on book tours and, boom, he has a shot at winning it all now. there's the denver broncos hero tim tebow, who wasn't expected to be big in the pros but led his team from four straight come-from-behind wins this season. our last comeback kid is a very reluctant one, i must say, who they bulger, america's most wanted 16 years when the f.b.i. nabbed him this year. momly crew there. a motley crew there. >> i will give it to gabby giffords. we have a q & a interview with her as person of the year which she did herself, amazing story, ennobling story, not as funny as the other stuff. but wonderful. >> it is a great story. we're also safe with tebow. but i want to put in a ward for matt prater, please. he's the guy -- >> serious broncos' fan. >> 18 seconds to go and kicks a
59-yard field goal to create the tiebreaker. >> thin air. >> and then kicks the winning field goal. come on, prater. chris: i do like these kickers. little skinny guys who can play in the pros. >> never get any attention. >> i'm doubling down on gabby. how do you not? whole thing is -- it's like a moment that brought the two parties together for a second. however, the newt comeback is unbelievable. it's something and only newt gingrich believed he could make this comeback. chris: his own staff. his own people. >> even to get as far as he's gotten. he may not be the nominee, and i still think he won't be nominee. >> the night is young. >> exactly. >> somebody can do so well, we haven't had iowa yet but the thought somebody could do so well with conservative republican voters who have so much nonconservative baggage, that's what makes this comeback. >> that's a high level of
anti-mormonism. chris: the great jack used to do this for a living and say a candidate like him can live off the land. as the moment proceeds, moment to moment, he will take opportunities. >> he understands twitter. this guy always ahead on technology. ok, you guys wanted a space for entertaining your friends,
and that coffee... or we could t it on the patio for watching the game with the guys. or in the kitchen? but, these curtains are... i can't believe you moved the tv. it's like a whole new living room. it actually is a whole new living room. [ male announcer ] the new wireless receiver, only from at&t. now get u-verse with dvr at the lowest price ever. at&t. chris: welcome back. thanks to a great round table. chuck todd, kathleen parker, katty kay and richard stengel. i really want to thank you for the great liftoff to jack kennedy elusive hero. it's been a great year for us all. merry christmas. see you all back here next week. [ male announcer ] this december, we're thanking our customers